Bareboat chartering is an increasingly popular activity but some are puzzled by the term. If you are not familiar with hiring a boat then it can lead to some confusion but in reality it is very straightforward.
Essentially when you arrange this kind of charter all you are renting is the boat itself. There is no crew so you have to skipper yourself. There are no provisions either, so you can basically please yourself when it comes to catering and entertainment.
Clearly there are huge advantages to bareboat chartering but this isn’t an arrangement that you should enter into unless you have specific experience of crewing and navigating a vessel. If, however, you are comfortable with these things then there are some amazing benefits.
The main advantage is obviously that you have a lot of freedom: You and your passengers and crew are in charge and you can go wherever you want within reason. You can drop anchor and stop off anywhere and provide your own entertainment and provisions.
This style of yacht charter is particularly enjoyable if you’re looking to explore a certain region – maybe the Greek Islands where you can navigate around and visit as many places as your time limit allows. However, if you are thinking about a bareboat charter, then you should prepare yourself with as much information as possible before you make the booking.
What to Consider
There is no crew and no provisions and that means there is no fuel as well. You should therefore think about where to buy fuel when you collect the boat and when you sail and dock.There is no protection and indemnity or hull insurance either, so you will have to have this in place in order to take charge of the vessel. Another major consideration is port expenses, which will need to be taken care of everywhere you dock.
The message therefore is to take all of these financial factors into account and to not assume that your monetary outlay begins and ends with the yacht charter contract. Make sure you can comfortably cover all of the additional expenses before you sign up.
Plan Your Trip
Planning is key to everything and bareboat chartering is no exception. One of the most important elements is in knowing where you’re going. While that may sound obvious, this is a vital part of your trip. There are horror stories of pleasure boats crossing international waters and facing dire consequences. These are thankfully rare, but you must be certain of your route and navigation.
Proving Your Competence
It’s important to understand that you are unlikely to be allowed to an arrangement of this kind if you have no previous experience of sailing a vessel. Prior to hiring you will likely be asked to send details of your sailing experience for the boat owner to consider. You may also be asked to show some very basic skills in anchoring and docking and if the owner isn’t satisfied then he or she may assign a captain, at least for the start of your journey. If you have the relevant experience, however, then this won’t be a problem and once you have demonstrated your competence the hire will be agreed. From there, you have all the freedom and benefits that this form of innovative rental has to offer.
Author: Ricky writes regularly on sailing and bareboat charter options for a range of travel and holiday blogs and websites.